Tukur did not say when Dr. Goodluck Jonathan gave the directive, but he told the party members to start preparing for the 2015 elections, saying “it’s going to be a serious battle”.
The chairman spoke when a group of party members in the Southwest visited him in his Abuja residence.
According to him, the presidential mandate is to win more than the 23 states the party controls.
Stressing the need for immediate preparations for the elections, Tukur said 2015 is closer than many imagine.
He told the group that the PDP would uphold President Jonathan’s resolve to conduct free, fair and transparent elections.
The chairman rated elections conducted under the Jonathan administration as some of the freest so far.
He urged party members in the Southwest to close ranks and deliver the zone to the PDP “to prove to the world that the party has the widest spread in the country”.
Tukur said: “We need to work hard now because we have a presidential mandate to move beyond 23 states in our control and win at least 32. We have to show electoral strength this time. In doing it, we will work hard and work well. We will move with the speed of jet and we will deliver without any foul antics.
“I use this opportunity to appeal to our members to bury the hatchet and cast away whatever forlorn hope they nurse about the future. I appeal to our members to begin to invest in the future right away and doing so involves hard work, diligence and dedication to the cause of PDP.”
According to him, the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party plans to begin a state-by-state tour to ginger up members while intensifying reconciliation, reformation and re-building of the party.
A former Oyo State governorship candidate of the party, Prof. Taoheed Adedoja, who led the delegation, lauded the PDP on its ongoing peace initiative.
Adedoja praised Tukur for his efforts in rallying different groups within the party for reconciliation. He, however, said that there were still some unresolved issues in the Southwest zone of the PDP.
Through its National Publicity Secretary Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) reacted to the ruling party’s plan to win more states in 2015.
The ACN spokesman said the PDP would be disappointed at the next general elections as Nigerians are fed up with its leadership.
But Mohammed said there would not be any state for the PDP to capture in 2015 as the people will defend their votes.
He told The Nation: “The PDP has forgotten that we are in a democratic dispensation and that the ruling party is not an army of occupation. Nigerians are not only going to vote for the party of their choice but ensure that their votes count.
“Jonathan and Tukur are going to wake up one day and discover that they have been living in fools’ paradise. They will discover that the people deserted them a long time ago.”
The AC N is merging with the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) and others form the All Progressive Congress (APC), which its promoters believed will kick the PDP out of power.